London rail strike: Passengers face more travel chaos as workers strike again

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ondon train passengers are set for more travel chaos on Wednesday due to another strike in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the drivers’ union Aslef and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will walk out, causing huge disruption to services, including the suspension of the London Overground and many national rail routes to and from the capital.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the dispute would continue until the government intervened.

He called on Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan to “lift the shackles” from train companies so they could make a pay offer to workers.

“The message I’m getting from my members is that they’re in this for the long haul, and if anything, they want industrial action to increase,” he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme, Ms Trevelyan indicated she now sees “clearer” views of rail workers after meeting Mr Whelan and RMT general secretary Mick Lynch.

She said she met the couple “because I really wanted to understand where they are coming from”.

Which lines are affected?

The drivers’ strike will affect London Overground, Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Transpennine Express and West Midlands Trains.

Members of the TSSA will strike at CrossCountry and take other forms of industrial action at several other operators.

TSSA is also planning industrial action on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at more than a dozen train companies and Network Rail will strike on Saturday.

There will be no service on most London Overground routes throughout the day, block one route running between Barking and Barking Riveside between 8am and 6.45pm.

The strike will not directly affect London Underground services, although the Underground network is expected to feel the effects of the action. TfL says it is warning of disruption that will continue until Thursday morning.

Passengers are advised to check before traveling on Wednesday and allow extra time for their journey.

Train companies not involved in the strike will run trains, but these are expected to be busy.

Services are likely to be interrupted early Thursday morning when workers return to work.

The disruption will affect football matches and the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Daniel Mann, director of industrial operations at Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes are disrupting travel plans for millions of passengers and undermining businesses that continue to struggle with rising costs, and this continued action will only further damage the rail recovery.

“Although some rail companies are not involved in the strike, services are likely to be busy, severely disrupted or in some cases not running, so passengers should check the latest travel advice before they travel.

“Passengers with advance, low or peak time tickets affected by the strikes on 5 October can use their ticket the day before the booked date or up to and including 7 October.

“Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on another date or get a refund if their train is canceled or rescheduled.”

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We only saw last weekend that our strike was rock solid across the country. Our brilliant members remain determined to see their demands met in the form of a just settlement.

“We don’t strike lightly but are prepared to dig in as we seek a fair deal on pay, job security and conditions in the face of cuts, economic collapse and a cost of living crisis at the hands of this chaotic Tory government.

“With more strikes and wider industrial action coming this week, it’s time for ministers to get wise and act now to deliver a fair deal which will end a winter of rail misery across the network.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It is incredibly disappointing that for the second time in five days we are facing disruption on our railways, with businesses once again affected, thousands of people at risk of being unable to travel to work or school , and misses a doctor’s appointment.

“Our rail is in desperate need of modernisation, but all more strikes will do is punish the very people unions claim to stand up for and push passengers further away.

“We call on union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with their employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”

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